13. 11. 2017 14:35
The regional elections which took place on November 4 sparked discussions among politicians. On the one hand, they disagree on who actually won or lost and on the other, a dispute is taking place as to whether the current number of eight regions is adequate for Slovakia. The ruling coalition candidates for governors succeeded in two out of the eight regions, which is four less compared to the previous elections. The opposition gained five governors and one was independent.
PM Robert Fico rejected claims that his party had suffered a debacle. He reiterated that Smer won 88 councillors - the highest number among all parties. "If he was a man, he'd admit fairly the defeat of his party in last week's regional elections", stated extra-parliamentary Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) vice-chairman Pavol Zajac on Saturday, pointing to the fact that the coalition of non-governing parties Freedom and Solidarity, Ordinary people and Christian Democrats gained 105 councillors in total.
After the elections, debates are underway as to whether there is a need to change the current number of 8 regions. President Andrej Kiska said that the rather low voter turnout (almost 30%) showed that people did not really understand how the regions work. The opposition 'We Are Family' party MP Milan Krajniak said that his party was for abolishing the higher territorial units. He can imagine the introduction of traditional counties, whose management would come under the remit of local councillors and mayors. Thus, no elections would be needed.
"There is neither political force nor political consensus on this," said PM Fico, adding that he still considers the reintroduction of three regions - as it was in the past - to be the best solution for Slovakia in this regard. "Such fundamental changes, concerning the division of the state and the number of regions shouldn't be made within an ordinary law, because then there is a tendency to change these laws immediately," said Fico, concluding that this matter would require a constitutional majority, however, no consensus about the number of regions can ever be reached.